Self-assessments are techniques that help us to have a better understanding of ourselves . They can be done at practically any time and can deal with a wide variety of subjects.

Whether in the field of education, psychodiagnosis or in the world of organizations, self-evaluations allow us to acquire a better knowledge of ourselves.

In this article we will discuss the types of self-assessments, both in terms of their scope and the format in which they are presented. In addition, we are going to make a quick review of what they consist of and what purpose they serve.

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What is self-evaluation?

Self-evaluations are methods that allow us to have a better knowledge of ourselves, either by addressing aspects more related to our physical and mental capacities or by dealing with issues such as our emotions or state of health.

The main peculiarity of self-evaluations is that we are the ones who administer them . In other types of assessments, such as heteroassessments and co-assessments, it is another person or a group of them who administer a questionnaire or carry out some kind of analysis of a specific person.

Since self-assessments can be applied in many ways, there are several tools that allow them to be carried out.

To be useful, it is necessary to be sincere when answering them and to make a deep self-reflection in order to detect those strengths and weaknesses that we may have or, in case we are talking about health problems, to know if we are really behind something serious.

What is their purpose?

Self-evaluations are widely used in everyday life . Situations as simple and mundane as answering a test at the driving school, asking review questions for a test or analysing the pros and cons of continuing with the partner would be examples of self-assessments.

Depending on the area in which the self-assessment is being carried out, we can talk about different purposes:

1. Education

In the educational field, they are widely used to know what level one has on a certain subject or to what extent the knowledge given in the classroom has been established.

If they are done before taking a test or trying to answer an exercise, they allow us to know what knowledge needs to be improved and to focus the rest of the study on them.

Teachers can benefit from this resource as it allows them to know where they are failing to explain the content. It also helps them to give their students homework because they can get a general idea of how the class is going and, in particular, which students are having the most difficulties.

2. Work

Self-assessment in the workplace can help you to prosper in the profession .

Many are the companies that ask their employees to make this type of evaluation, in order to find out what the possible problems are when carrying out their tasks and to see how they can be solved.

Self-assessments allow us to know if we are being efficient enough or, also, allow us to improve our capabilities to focus on receiving a promotion.
Evaluating how efficient we are allows us to be motivated, have better self-control and solve whatever is necessary.

This type of tool is very useful for employees who have been in the same job for a long time because, as the years go by, after seeing that you defend yourself quite well in the work you do, you run the risk of not going for more, getting stuck and getting stuck in the comfort zone.

We must ask ourselves if we are responsible, cooperative, punctual, or if we have other qualities that are beneficial both for our work performance and for the company to continue to prosper.

3. Health

Although it should be noted that those who diagnose health problems, both physical and psychological, are professionals in this field, such as doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, neurologists and a host of other professions, carrying out a self-assessment of our state of health can motivate us to visit a good professional .

Some ways to evaluate ourselves with respect to our health are as simple as feeling for strange lumps, asking ourselves if we have felt motivated in the last few days, if we have noticed something strange in ourselves…

It should be said that if we notice something unusual, we should not rush in and say what we have because, apart from the fact that we may not be experts on the subject, our opinion is not at all objective. We need to go to a professional to see what might be happening to us.

However, self-evaluations in this area allow us to avoid having to go to the professional for nothing if that is the case, and thus save us a pointless visit and avoid taking time away from the professional on duty.

4. Daily life

It is totally healthy to ask ourselves about our daily actions, as long as we “criticize” ourselves in a realistic way , without being too hard or benevolent to ourselves.
Self-evaluations in this area are among the most subjective, given that any subject can be dealt with and there does not necessarily have to be standardised references in this respect, unlike the other three fields.

We can ask ourselves about what makes us happy, whether we should continue to date our partner, what we want to be in life…

Types of self-evaluation

There are many tools with which you can carry out self-assessments. Some come from the field of psychology, especially the clinical field, but others are from education and organizations.

Below is a list of the main types of self-evaluation available, both standardized methods and those tools that have been more freely formulated.

1. Textbooks

Usually, and especially in the field of education, textbooks have at the end of each topic a page where different exercises related to the content of the topic are presented .

These questions usually allow the reader to reflect on what he or she knows, whether or not he or she has learned all that he or she should, and to detect those subjects that need to be studied in greater depth in order to master them.

The questions can be given in multiple ways: test type, questions to develop, in the form of games…

2. Self-assessment sheet

Also very typical of the educational field, the self-evaluation sheets allow us to write on paper how we think we have done a certain activity , as well as allowing us to reflect on those areas that we consider we need to improve.

It allows us to have a better understanding of what our strengths are, and allows us to focus on them.

There are also self-assessment sheets focused on the work and mental health environment, asking questions in which the respondent can have full freedom to explain how he/she feels, symptoms or stronger capabilities.

3. Digital resources

Thanks to the development of the information and communication technologies (ICT) , more and more applications, both related to education and to physical and mental health, offer us a self-evaluation .

4. Surveys

This is one of the most classic tools that psychology has used . The items in the surveys can be presented in the form of Likert scales, with numbering or with “I agree” style phrases.

5. Entrances to self-reflection

They consist of sheets with sentences that are incomplete , on which the reader must complete them with things that are related to themselves. For example, “I consider myself a person…”, “I am … with others”, “I get upset if…”.

Thanks to their great freedom to answer, they can extract a great deal of information about what you think and how you answer it.

6. Personal Diaries

This is one of the most representative formats for self-evaluation in everyday life , although it can be used in any other field.

For example, in the school environment, journals can be made in which students are allowed to reflect and remember what they have been learning on the same day that they are completing a page in the notebook.

7. Interactive notebooks

They are closely related to personal diaries , especially in the field of education, although they are more focused on the student$0027s ability to reflect on what he or she has acquired in class.

What are the benefits of self-assessments?

Whatever the area in which it has been used, self-evaluation is a resource that brings more benefits than disadvantages and, if there has been any kind of problem, it is probably due to an incorrect use of this tool.

1. Are suitable for any age

In most cases, self-assessments can be applied to any age range .

Although it is clear that self-evaluations in the field of work are carried out for the level of adults, those that are more related to studies are very variable, and can be applied to children$0027s ages.

As long as the feedback is offered at the same level as the younger children, this tool will be useful in making them aware of what they have learned.
At each life stage we have different interests and goals. A well-done self-evaluation is always beneficial.

2. Better self-knowledge

Since this technique favours self-reflection, it allows us to value aspects of ourselves, to see where we could improve as people and citizens of the world .

This will help us to know if we are people who relate in a healthy way with our peers, how organized we are, if we are responsible…

3. Reinforces learning

As already mentioned, in the field of education, this type of technique makes the student more aware of what he or she has managed to learn and what he or she is having difficulty with.

Thanks to this, it is possible to intelligently select the contents to be studied for an exam, taking priority away from what has already been mastered and adding it to what has to be improved.

By allowing the student to participate in his own learning, acting actively in the selection of the contents to be improved, it allows him to have a better interest towards the study and a greater motivation.

4. Encourages our autonomy

From time to time, doing a self-assessment is a good thing , as it allows us to monitor our progress and also our weaknesses. This will allow us to have a greater degree of independence.

5. Increase our motivation

Receiving feedback on how we are, especially in the work and academic environment, motivates us , as it helps us understand why specific problems occur.

Moreover, by analyzing the origin of a certain difficulty we can address it in order to cope with it.

Bibliographic references:

  • Leyva, Y. (2010). Learning assessment: A practical guide for teachers.
  • Sanz, L.J. and Álvarez, C.A. (2012). Evaluation in Clinical Psychology. Manual CEDE de Preparación PIR. 05. CEDE: Madrid.